What Is Metering And Exposure? ( Learn Photography And Camera Operation Basics )
The light meter on your camera measures the intensity of light.
What you meter is a choice. What you choose to meter is an evaluation/measurement of light intensity.
Exposure is the recording of light onto light sensitive material.
Exposure is a subjective decision.
Metering and exposure are essential to getting the photograph that you want.
If your pictures are coming out to dark or too bright this indicates you should probably devote some time to get a better understanding of how to use your meter to help you decide what would be the best exposure for your picture.
Could you tell someone what you were metering off of?
Could you tell someone why you chose the exposure settings that you did?
2 thoughts on “What Is Metering And Exposure? ( Learn Photography And Camera Operation Basics )”
Thank you for your insight into this topic.
For me, I prefer to spot meter, using the reflected meter in the camera or using a separate meter, with the understanding that the exposure I get with the meter will reproduce as a mid value/tone when I make the photograph. Based on my perception of how I think the tonality of my metered area should be, I adjust my exposure accordingly before making the picture.
A good foundation in Ansel Adams’s Zone System is still the best way to understand what you are seeing, metering on and evaluating contrast. Some reading of Minor White and/or Fred Picker is a good starting point. Adams own series of books on the subject are actually accessible to most readers with some previous knowledge of metering. The instant feedback of today’s viewing screens allow us to practice the “Sunny 16 Rule” for general exposure. On a bright sunny day, if we set our shutter speed at 1 over the i.s.o., we can set the aperture at 16 and be very close to the proper exposure. Of course, an 18% gray card or an incident (rather than reflected light)reading get us in the ballpark as well. After getting these basics down, spot metering off a recognizable zone becomes second nature. Second nature understanding is what allows us to shoot quickly and with confidence.